Woman Fired After Taking Day off to Grieve the Loss of Her Dog | 22 Words

Anyone with a dog will know that they become part of the family. From the thumping of paws as they excitedly run to greet you when you return home, to relaxing evenings with your pup sprawled out on the couch next to you, they really are our best friends. And, when they pass away, it can be absolutely devasting.

Emma McNulty is a dog owner who recently felt the heartbreak of unexpectedly losing her beloved pooch, Millie.

As anyone would be, the eighteen-year-old was grief-ridden and opted to take a day off work on the grounds of compassionate leave. Completely understandable, right? Well, her boss didn't think so, as she's been fired for taking time off work.

She's now taking a stand against employers who refuse to give staff bereavement leave for their pets.

Keep scrolling to read this heartbreaking tale, and to find out what the teen is doing to make a change for other dog owners.

Our dogs are our best friends.

Whether they're causing mischief, giving us those puppy eyes when they want food, or taking up the whole sofa, many of us couldn't live without our furry friends.

They are part of the family.

Once you're a dog parent, it's hard to imagine a life without having a pooch to come home to.

When they pass away, it's absolutely devasting.

The grief of losing our furry companions can feel the exact same as suffering a human loss.

In the same way, we have to have time to grieve.

And, sometimes, this can mean taking a day or 2 off work. That wouldn't be totally unreasonable, right?

Well, one teen hasn't been allowed that luxury, after suffering the heartbreaking loss of her pup.

Eighteen-year-old, Emma McNulty, from Glasgow, was left distraught when her terrier, Millie, unexpectedly passed away.

After becoming ill on August 10, Emma's pup was tragically put to sleep the following day.

After having her pup put down, the teen said that she felt physically sick with grief.

We can't imagine how she must have felt.

The teen described losing Millie like losing a member of the family. "Millie was fourteen and I am eighteen, so I don't remember a time when she wasn't part of my life. "We did everything together. I was so close to her and she was my best pal," she explained to BBC News.

The teen says that she was left "too upset to work."

Understandably, Emma was left completely devastated, so she opted to take a day off work to come to terms with her loss.

But her employer wasn't very sympathetic...

Emma, who works part-time in a sandwich shop, contacted her boss following her dog's death to ask for time off but was told that she would need to find someone to cover her shift or risk getting fired.

Unable to find cover, the unimaginable happened...

True to her employer's words, the teen said that she was fired from her job via email (yep, pretty bad) after failing to find another member of staff to take over her shift. "I was sacked on the same day as I lost my dog. "I thought my employer would show a bit of compassion. Instead, I was told to find cover and that if I didn't come in I would risk dismissal," she explained. "When I told them I couldn't find a replacement I was told not to show up for any other shifts and that the boss would be in touch."

How can anyone lack such empathy?

Just because Millie was a dog, it doesn't make her death any less devastating for Emma.

But now, Emma is taking a stand.

The teen isn't letting her experience get her down, instead, she's speaking out against employers who are preventing pet owners from having compassionate leave.

Emma has launched a petition to get employers to change their attitudes.

She says that she's started the petition in the hope that employers will begin to recognize pet loss in the same way as human bereavement.

Usually, employees are granted 3 days of paid leave after the loss of a family member.

Although it varies from employer to employer and there's no law in place to entitle anyone to bereavement leave.

But Emma wants pet loss to be treated in the same way.

"I think it’s disgusting how some companies think it’s acceptable to treat someone in this way with no remorse, a family pet (in my case my dog) has just as much importance as a human family member," she wrote on the petition page. "It’s time companies acknowledged this and give people the time they need to grieve with no worry of losing their job."

Her campaign has gained a huge amount of support online.

At the time of writing, Emma's petition has over twenty-thousand signatures, with many people sending messages of support to the teen.

The teen has started a huge online movement.

The petition is now host to masses of comments, all in support of the campaign. Change.org user, Daniel Taylor, wrote: "Dogs are family. You should be allowed to grieve for them too," while Geraldine Kennedy posted: "This is no different to losing a human family member. Our animals mean more to us than our human family and we should be allowed the same time to grieve their loss."

Others shared similar experiences after the loss of their family pets.

Emma clearly isn't alone, as many people posted about their own experiences with grieving the loss of their pets while coming into contact with less-than-sympathetic people. "I have been in the same situation. When my dog passed away I was so upset and the reaction I got is it's just a dog. Well it's not it's part of your life and your family," wrote one user.

Some people wrote that they were more fortunate than Emma.

"I recently lost my fur baby after fourteen years. Luckily I have an employer who understood. He too had to miss work when his own dog died," explained one user. Looks like there are some understanding employers out there, but, clearly, more still needs to be done.

Fingers crossed that Emma's campaign pays off.

She might make a real difference to a lot of pet owners across the world. Speaking of doggos, we've recently noticed that there always seems to be people who take advantage of their unconditional loyalty and kindness. Viral footage has surfaced of a man getting instant karma after kicking a stray dog. Keep scrolling to watch the video and to see this guy get the comeuppance that he deserves.